Denon 5803

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg Welch, Dec 31, 2002.

  1. Greg Welch

    Greg Welch Auditioning

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    I am thinking about upgrading my Denon 3802 to the new 5803. I currently have a Parasound 1205a tied to the 3802 so I thought I could consolidate my gear and get more power and performance with this set up. I am currently running 6.1 and would like to move into 7.1 as titles become available. My speaker selection is Energy. C-6's as the fronts, AC-300 center, RVSS as the surrounds, and C-2's as the rears. Energy 10" powered sub.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Also, if you think my current set up works please comment on that as well. I sometimes want the latest greatest weather I need it or not.

    Thank you,

    Greg.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Upgrading to a 5803 certainly won't hurt; it's just about the most highly regarded and well-reviewed A/V receiver in existence. Welcome to HTF, by the way.
     
  3. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Greg,

    I wouldn't touch the 5803 with a 20' foot pole!

    Denon totally screwed up the digital interface to high-resolution (hirez) music sources with their proprietary "Denon Link". They have admitted as much and look to be redoing the interface to comply with the 1394 "iLink" standard as implemented on Pioneer's 49TXi receiver.

    Unless and until Denon commits to an upgrade path (timing, cost and procedure) for iLink, I'd STRONGLY recommend staying away (and letting them know that you are). Reportedly, Denon will layout this strategy at CES in January along with some other important product announcements.

    During the interim, your 3802 will serve you just fine - I've had mine since last July. Best of luck.

    Austin
     
  4. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Greg, I gather from your post that you are looking for more power and if that's the case, I would not get the 5803 but instead, get a good 5/7 channel amp like the ATI for exapmple. That combo will sound much cleaner than the 5803. You have all the possible decoding you'll need in the 3802 and there are a lot of people out there that are very satisfied with the 3802 used as a prepro.
     
  5. Greg Welch

    Greg Welch Auditioning

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    Thank you for all of the info guys. It definitely gives me some things to think about.

    Happy New Year!

    Greg.
     
  6. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

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    Greg,

    I thought I'd add my experience as well. My opinions are based on actual listening in my room with all equipment present at the same time.

    I had a 3802 paired with an ATI1505 and then moved to the 5803.

    First, the 5803 alone sounds much better than the 3802. I'm talking processing here, not power. It's more dynamic and cleaner sounding than the 3802, especially on music in the pure direct mode.

    Second, I experimented with the 5803 alone and with the ATI hooked to it and honestly couldn't tell the difference between the 2. I believe you'd only notice a difference driving very difficult speakers and/or at ridicously loud volumes. (I'm driving M&K 150's) FYI, I typically listen to both music and movies at below or just at reference level, never higher.
    I decided to sell the ATI and just go with the 5803 until I decide to go to the next level (high end pre/pro and amp)

    If you want better dynamics and clarity, I think going to the 5803 would be a good next step. I don't think adding your parasound amp to the 5803 will gain you anything. YOu could give it a try and always sell the parasound if you found it didn't really benefit you.

    You also may look at one of the lower end pre/pro's like the Rotel 1066, Outlaw or even the B&K Ref 50 since you already have an external amp.
     
  7. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I think you already have a better performing HT combo than the 5803 alone. Why do you want to upgrade in the first place? Do you find your current setup lacking in some regard? If you are doing it for HT then you wouldn't gain much by upgrading, if any. The 3802 is an excellent prepro for HT and the only area the 5803 sounds better is in pure direct 2 channel mode. And if you want good two channel performance you should go with a separate stereo preamp and tie it in with the 3802 and have excellent 2 channel performance. IMHO in either case you dont have to go upto a 5803. Save your money.
     
  8. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Greg,
    I probably wouldn't touch the 5803 with a 20' pole either for $4300.

    I have the 3802 paired with a H/K amp and it should perform closely to your setup. I feel that my speakers (Sonus faber Signums and Concertos) can benefit from a better preamp section and perhaps better amplification.

    I tried the 3803 as a pre/pro but found it to be not as musical with my setup as the 3802. So I have returned it in favor of the 5800 which I may upgrade to the 5803 via the upgrade kit offered by Denon, as long as I feel the 5800 offers some improvement over the 3802. Otherwise I'll just stick with the 3802 which I think is already a fine performer for music.

    FWIW, I tried the ATI1505 and although I found it very powerful for HT, I did not care for it's presentation for music. Personally I would stick with the Parasound but YMMV.
     
  9. Greg Welch

    Greg Welch Auditioning

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    Thank you for all of the feedback. If I keep the 3802 should I buy another higher power AMP for the fronts and center and then move the Parasound 1205 to the surrounds and rears?

    Or should I sell the Parasound and buy a different solution all together?

    I would appreciate any feedback. If I keep the Parasound I would probably have a budget of $1000 to $1500 additional gear, if I sell the Parasound I would be looking at around $1800 to $2200 for the total solution.

    Thank you,

    Greg.
     
  10. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Greg,

    Take the $1,500 and buy a 6 month CD. Then enjoy your existing system for 6 months. When the CD matures, take a look at the market and see if there's anything compelling at that time. If so, buy it. If not, buy another 6 month CD. And so on. Good luck.

    Austin
     
  11. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    The Parasound is an excellent amp and it would be hard for you to do much better than that unless you spend major bucks. Its one of the best values out there, and unless you have insensitive speakers that dip down below 3ohms or have a large theater room you dont need any more power. I would say you would be better of just saving the money and upgrading a few years down the road. I dont forsee any major software releases in terms of format so no need to upgrade right now. I have a 3802 with external amplification and I dont plan on upgrading in the next two years or so. All I want is to integrate a cheap stereo tube preamp (for < $500) for better 2 channel presentation and then I'll be set for the next two or three years and not look at upgrading anything. Frankly if you dont mind my saying, I have a feeling that you want to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading (I know how the bug itches) as I dont see any weakness in your present gear. So save the money and like Austin said, invest it some place else so you have more upgrading power when the need really comes.
     
  12. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Greg,
    There is also a rumor that Denon may be coming out with a couple of new pre/pro's this year. Might be worth at least waiting for what shows up at CES this month [​IMG]
    I agree with Yogi on the Parasound. With your system I'd probably go listen to some new speakers if I had the upgrade itch, although it's certainly not meant to be a knock on the Energy C series. Maybe a bigger sub - that should give you some big impact right away [​IMG] I would think one channel of the Parasound would be pretty good driving an SVS or Hsu with 12" woof. A passive Hsu TN1225HO can be had for about $350 shipped, although I hear noise of Hsu working a new updated version of the 12" driver coming soon.
     

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